Kansas City leaders say they plan to make aggressive pitch for Amazon’s HQ2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City leaders have announced they’ll throw a hat in the ring to be the location of Amazon’s second North American headquarters. On Thursday the company announced it’s looking for a city to be home to HQ2, which will be a full equal to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. Kansas City

Manager Troy Schulte says bringing something like this to Kansas City would be a game changer.

“We think we have a compelling story and a compelling number of sites that may be attractive to amazon so we are going to try to put an aggressive bid in,” Said Schulte.

City leaders say Kansas City’s central location, low-cost of living and growing tech scene could be attractive to Amazon. Recent and upcoming transportation decisions could also play a huge part securing this opportunity for the city.

“The work that we’re doing for hopefully a new terminal at KCI will tie in nicely so that they have the ability to get anywhere they need in the globe hopefully in Kansas City. Right now that’s a structural issue we have to work through but we’re asking voters in November to change that,” Schulte explained.

Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.

“That could be both good and bad,” said Clint Bradley, Franchise Owner for Express Employment Professionals location in Overland Park.

“The bad pieces of it being the smaller to mid-level businesses won’t necessarily know how to compete with some of the bigger salaries that are going to be coming in for those positions,” Bradley explained.

With national and local unemployment rates hovering at around four percent employment professionals say the local talent pool needed to fill those positions might have to be pulled from other sectors of the workforce.

“It’s good for the current talent pool because it’s an increase in salaries and wages and for the economy and living, but at the same time, what is it going to do for those businesses when a large corporation like that moves in,” said Bradley.

Still local leaders say the benefits of bringing a company like Amazon to the region far outweigh the challenges.

“This is a once in a decade or generational opportunity for a corporate headquarters that big,” said Schulte.

“We think If we can get them into the Midwest, just like with everybody, if we can get them into town they usually get pretty hooked,” he adds.

This isn’t the first time Kansas City has competed for a bid like this. Several years ago the city competed and won to become the first place in the country to get Google Fiber internet in homes. City leaders hope the same things that pushed Kansas City ahead in that race will work in our favor this time.

All proposals are due to Amazon by mid-October.